Turkish court issues first verdict in ‘gay garbage men case’
Dinçer Gökçe - ISTANBUL
A Turkish court has issued the first verdict in a legal case surrounding three garbage men who were fired by a municipality for allegedly engaging in a homosexual relationship with one of their co-workers.
Three drivers of the garbage trucks owned by the Kağıthane Municipality in Istanbul were fired by their employer after it was alleged last year that they were in a gay relationship with a 27-year-old garbage collector.
The garbage collector, identified only as M.Ş., had told the authorities that he had engaged in sexual relationship “from time to time” with the three truck drivers.
The drivers, aged between 43 and 51, had sued the municipality and its subcontractor in April 2018, citing what they described as unjust termination of their contract.
The 34th Labor Court in Istanbul ruled on Jan. 29 in favor of one of the plaintiffs, identified as R.S., concluding that his contract was unjustly terminated.
His attorney had told the court that the plaintiff “had got nothing to do with that incident,” while the company lawyers had claimed that his dismissal was part of “rightful termination” due to the sexual relationship at work.
If the ruling is approved in the appeals process, too, the subcontractor will be forced to return the plaintiff to his previous job or to compensate him.
A hearing for one of the other two cases, which still continue, is scheduled to be held in February.